From :

Wagon. A cranky contary female / an ugly female. She\'s some wagon eh?

wagon. wagon - an awful woman. than one is such a wagon!

wagon. a woman thats a bitch. dat ones a right wagon.

Wagon. A cantankerous old woman.. Yer wan's some wagon, I asked her could I feed the seagulls and she lifted me out of it!

wagon. car or other mode of transport. i'll drive my waggon.

Wanderly Wagon. A much loved Irish children's TV program which ran from 1968 to 1982

Thursday, 29 December 2011

The Full Story from Wagons part Deux

Weds 28th:
The crossing itself was fairly average – it got fairly rough once we left the shelter of the Irish Sea and entered the Channel where the currents wash in from the Atlantic.  However, we had the good sense to take our Stugeron tabs and eat early.  The shared bottle of wine on top of the Stugeron may not have been so sensible, though, as we both conked out in our cabin for three hours and missed the 7pm visiting slot with the dogs.  We had to wait until 10pm, but they seemed none the worse for our neglect, and steadfastly refused to pee.  There was way less pitch and roll down on the dog deck, so hopefully they were less bothered by it all than we are.
There was a very elderly beagle in the kennels too, who was quite distressed every time we visited – howling and panting heavily.  Every time I saw her, I counted our blessings that we did not bring Molly and silently thanked Granny again for offering to take her.

France Ahoy!
In the morning, we had entered calmer waters closer to the French shore, so we were not rolling around like drunken sailors as we went to visit the dogs.   This time Cookie finally pee’d, but Cinnamon continued to hold out.
We docked exactly on schedule and drove off the ferry at just about 11.20 French time, stopped on the way out of the Port to let the dogs relieve themselves and boy did Cinny find relief!  I thought she’d never stop!
Entering Cherbourg Harbour
The drive to Tours was very straightforward, traffic was not heavy and the roads are well sign-posted.  The biggest issue we’ve had has been with the new Road Atlas of France that we bought on the ferry – we discovered that it’s missing pages 115 – 129, which unfortunately includes the area around Tours where we are staying.  We’ll just have to rely on Nigel the SatNav to go us back on the Autoroute tomorrow, although I do prefer to have a map as well.
We’re staying in a gorgeous Hotel, chosen at random out of Anne’s very ancient and well-thumbed Logis Catalogue.  It’s called Le Moulin Fleuri, they’ve been very friendly and welcoming and the dinner menu looks amazing! Now to find out if they have WiFi….
Thurs 29th:
Unfortunately the answer to that WiFi questions was "sorry, no Madame," so there are two posts for the price of one today!

Massive fireplace in the dining room
The staff were really friendly and totally welcomed our hyper-terriers into the dining room.  They spent the duration of the meal staring out at everyone else from under our table – they were both tied to our chairs, of course, otherwise Cookie would have been swinging from the chandeliers!
Cookie trying to be good.
Well, part of her is still in bed!
Both the head chef and the head waiter have excellent English - head chef Michael Chaplin spent two years in Dromoland Castle, three miles from where I grew up!  As Anne mentioned, the hotel menu was fantastic…

George's lamb shanks
My duck main course

George went for the full four course option  (starter, fish course, meat course plus dessert) while I stuck to a more lady-like three courses – starter, meat course, and cheese.

The very impressive cheese board!
By the time we had finished our meal, we were fit for nothing more than collapsing into bed, with the intention of getting up and on the road early next morning.
A small oversight delayed us a little, though - we omitted to mention that we'd like to check out early, and the hotel was still unstaffed at 8am!  This gave me a chance to take some nice atmospheric photos of the hotel exterior, though :
The Mill pond at the rear of the hotel
The Mill race at the side of the hotel
A very nice lady turned up at about 8.20 - she had been delayed by icy roads - so we got going only thirty minutes late.
I have to say that the Hotel Moulin Fleuri was so nice that we are wondering can we manage to squeeze in a night there on our way home!  Le Big Trek as currently planned avoids Tours, but a small diversion might be possible!
The drive could not have gone better, we stopped every two hours to let the dogs out and swap driver and we got to Cereste in exactly ten and a half hours.  We drove through some beautiful countryside, especially around the Auvergne area, and the pass through the Monts du Forez.  I'd especially like to go back and spend some time in the latter area, as it seems fairly un-touristy - I found this site with nice photos of the area.
Anne very kindly whipped up some dinner for us when we arrived - braised guinea fowl with turnip and enormous sausages, plus local pates as a starter.  I had barely finished my meal when my eyes started to close.....


  1. Thanks Martine for the update. All that lovely food-sounds fantastic. The weather her is poor with rain every ten minutes or so.

  2. Karen Pawlak of the USA O'Keeffes30 December 2011 at 14:40

    Very nice pictures George, keep them coming.

  3. @Karen, photo credits belong to ME!! xx

  4. La gourmet chef, Anne can always be trusted to conjure up something as good as guinea fowl for an imprompto dinner: bon appetit a tous:)

  5. La gourmet chef, Anne can always be trusted to conjure up something as good as guinea fowl for an imprompto dinner: bon appetit a tous:)